Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fifty years

Today is the 50th anniversary of my first piano lesson.

I was very excited to learn piano and am still enthralled by this amazing instrument. And I'm still learning.

I love the sound of many instruments, but I do think the piano wins on versatility.

And it is a wonderful instructor because it is a great visual aid to learning about how music works. You can see musical intervals and chords on a piano in a way that you can't on a flute or even a harp or guitar.

When I was growing up, it was fun to listen to songs on the radio and then try to play them on the piano. I remember attempting The Beatles' Penny Lane and being frustrated by the chord that comes at the capitalised word in the first line of the chorus:
Penny Lane is in my EARS

I could not find a suitable chord and bought the sheet music for 35 cents and discovered that the chord is the tonic chord, the same as the preceding one, but is in first inversion [the bass note is the original middle note of the chord]. THAT was a revelation to me, much the same as the odd bass notes in The Beach Boys' God Only Knows were to Paul McCartney.

I think Rachmaninov was onto something when he said
Music is enough for a lifetime
But a lifetime is not enough for Music

Ten years ago I was lucky enough to be able to quit crowd control [which some people call high school music teaching] and get a job teaching piano at the Mitchell Conservatorium in Bathurst and Kinross-Wolaroi School in Orange.

There's so many things I am useless at, and I know I am only a very average piano player and teacher, but I'm an average one who enjoys plugging along with what God has given me. I pray that I may be able to praise him by using what I have and maybe even by improving a bit, even after 50 years.

1 comment:

Marshall-Stacks said...

I find it impossible to understand people who do not respond to music.
How can they not?
It is also quite silly to separate musical genres, i.e: "I like it all except (rap) (hip hop) (country)"

because of course, there is good and bad in all types.
I am 60+ and very recently my father stunned me by revealing that all through his school years he bicycled 20 miles every Saturday from the family farm into town for his piano lesson. He brought a tenor banjo back from WW2 and played it occasionally at home, but not often enough. Apparently he was fine entertainment for his squadron during 'the hostilities'.